Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five Years Old: A Letter

Five years.

In some way, this feels like a major milestone, just as big as your first birthday. Five years. Half a decade. You are five years old.


There's so much a five year old can do. Five year olds aren't preschoolers anymore. They're... kids. Just kids. They go to kindergarten. They ride bikes and play with big kid toys, like Power Rangers and Lego. Not Duplo. No, you don't want the "big Lego." You want the "little Lego, like Joe."

Five years.

How has five years gone by? Aren't you still my little bald baby who asks for his "ba" and does a silly little dance when he wants it? Don't you still have chunky monkey legs and fat little wrists?

Everyone considers their children a miracle and, to some degree, everyone is right. But you are so much more a miracle. Not a day goes by that I don't think of prematurity or your NICU stay. I'm reminded, in the conversations I have and the work I do, that you were born with lungs unable to keep you alive without help.  Sometimes, I still listen to you breath and marvel at the miracle of every easy, unaided breath you take.

Five . . .

If someone had told me five years ago what would have happened this year, I would have laughed... and then punched them in the face. I never, ever thought that our family would walk the NICU path again. I never thought any of us would go through what we did. But, we did. We have. And because of you, we had the strength and knowledge to muscle through that hard path. Because of you, we loved with wild abandon. We knew the questions to ask, the answers to seek and the hope of what might (what we wanted) to come.

That was your gift to your cousin.

... Years

I wonder who you will be five years from now, when you are ten. A decade. I don't think too much of it, though, my sweet five year old. I want to love an savor each moment of you, right now, my sweet puddinpie. I love your laugh, how your "s" becomes "f" and how you call yourself "Forge." I love how everything is "nine": Nine more minutes Mom! You are popular at school; I can't tell you how many times someone has said, "Oh, you're George's mom! My kid talks about him all the time!" You love Bigfoot and Lego and Power Rangers.

Five Years Old

Saturday will be your first big birthday party. It speaks volumes to how far you have come that we could even think of having this party- 30 kids in a TKD studio smack at the beginning of cold and flu season. Germ and sensory overload and yet you are so looking forward to it! Who woulda thought? You have come so, so far!

I look forward to seeing how much farther you have to go and what you will do with the life you have been gifted with. You are five years old George David and you are as much of a miracle now as you were then. We love you.

NICU Reunion, 2013